Scientific Partnership

James Prescott Joule, a Manchester owner of a brewery stood in the lecture hall and looked into the faces of the audience that was going to listen to his talk. It was the annual meeting of the British Association for the Advancement of Sciences, the conference where most scientists presented their latest achievements. However, Joule felt a bit uncomfortable, as he was not a trained scientist and considered himself a bit as an outsider. Moreover, it seemed to him that the audience was not really waiting for him to start, but seemingly more eager for him to stop. He seemed to see disinterest in most of the faces that were looking at him. Before starting his communication, Joule took a deep breath and thought about what had him brought here. ...

Scientific Partnership

05/05/2021 139 KB (PDF)

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Historical Sources

A Primary Sources

Joule, James Prescott: On the Mechanical Equivalent of Heat, in: Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London 140, 1850, S. 61–82.
Joule, James Prescott et. al.: The Scientific Papers of James Prescott Joule 1884, available online:

B Secondary Sources

Clagett, Marshall: Critical Problems in the History of Science 1962.
Heering, Peter: On J.P. Joule’s Determination of the Mechanical Equivalent of Heat, The History and Philosophy of Science in Science Education: Proceedings of the Second International Conference on the History and Philosophy of Science in Education 1992.
Kuhn, Thomas S.: Energy Conservation as an Example of Simultaneous Discovery, Critical Problems in the History of Science 1962.
Sibum, Heinz Otto: Reworking the Mechanical Value of Heat: Instruments of Precision and Gestures of Accuracy in Early Victorian England, in: Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part A 26, Ausgabe 1 (1995), S. 73–106.

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